Dakar Rally drivers get green light to register for historic race in Saudi Arabia

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Racers gearing up to take part in the grueling Dakar Rally being staged in Saudi Arabia were on Thursday given the green light to submit their applications. (SPA)
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Racers gearing up to take part in the grueling Dakar Rally being staged in Saudi Arabia were on Thursday given the green light to submit their applications. (SPA)
Updated 17 May 2019

Dakar Rally drivers get green light to register for historic race in Saudi Arabia

  • Preparations for the famous motorsport event are already well underway, with 330 vehicles representing 60 nations expected to take part
  • It will be the first time the Dakar Rally is held in the Middle East

RIYADH: Racers gearing up to take part in the grueling Dakar Rally being staged in Saudi Arabia were on Thursday given the green light to submit their applications.
The Kingdom’s General Sports Authority (GSA) announced that drivers wishing to participate in the 2020 race, can register through the rally’s official website at https://competitors.dakar.com
Preparations for the famous motorsport event are already well underway, with 330 vehicles representing 60 nations expected to tackle the punishing 9,000 km route between Jan. 5 and 17.
The race will consist of four categories, namely motorbikes, quads, cars and trucks. Participants will start in Jeddah, passing through a vast area taking in the Saudi Red Sea Project (a luxury tourism development) and the futuristic $500 billion NEOM megacity scheme, the most ambitious building program in the world.
Drivers will then enter the northwestern city of Hail, as part of Hail International Rally, before reaching Riyadh, where they will rest for a day.
From the Saudi capital, the rally will speed off to the Eastern Province, heading through the Empty Quarter desert before the race ends at Al-Qiddiya.
The first edition of the race, which will run in the Kingdom for 10 years, is being jointly organized by the GSA, the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation and Amaury Sport Organization.
It will be the first time the Dakar Rally is held in the Middle East and the race is set to be the largest, longest, hardest and most exciting in its 40-year history.
The annual multi-stage rally has been held in South America since 2009 after being relocated from Africa due to terrorist threats in Mauritania, which led to its cancelation in 2008.
Dakar director, David Castera, has described the relocation to Saudi Arabia as “a voyage into the unknown.” He added: “By going to Saudi Arabia, it is of course that aspect that fascinates me.”


Moath Al-Naeem, chief investment officer of Alpha Capital

Updated 51 min 56 sec ago

Moath Al-Naeem, chief investment officer of Alpha Capital

Moath Al-Naeem has been chief investment officer of Alpha Capital since its establishment in March 2018.

Alpha Capital is a rapidly growing company licensed by the Capital Market Authority and with assets well above SR1 billion ($267 million).

Before joining the company, Al-Naeem worked for almost a decade in Saudi Aramco’s investment department, which handled the oil giant’s multibillion-dollar pension and savings plans.

Al-Naeem began his career as a financial analyst in fixed income and public equity desks. Afterwards, he led the international real estate desk, where he conducted an on-site investment review and due diligence on several funds to build the global real assets portfolio.

He worked on the restructuring of Aramco’s thrift savings plan and was part of a team that led the successful spin-off of the investment department to a standalone entity, Wisayah Investment Co.

Al-Naeem, a CFA charter holder, earned his MBA from Imperial College London, and attended executive programs in real estate and private equity at Harvard and London Business School, respectively.

He is a board member of Dammam Airport Co. and Siporex Lightweight Construction Co., and a member of the Investment and Financial Papers Committee at the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He was also a board member of the CFA Society in Saudi Arabia.